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tv   [untitled]    May 25, 2014 4:00am-4:31am PDT

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believe that there was an unknown loophole in the legislation that was enacted 11 to nothing by the board of supervisors in 2006. small businesses especially need options, and in fact, federal law requires options for employers. and using health reimbursement accounts has been an option that is available, that has allowed many, many of the businesses to survive, that might otherwise not only not be able to expand but would fold because of the huge cost for some low profit margin businesses. and but, i think that this legislation, before us today, is not ready to go forward to the board or to the mayor. and i met with supervisor campos, months ago and i urged that a broad coalition be put together, as was done in 2006, specifically, unlike the task force last year of the health department, and specifically, to look at legislation solutions in light of the
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affordable care act and coverage california, there is no doubt that the world we live in today is far different from the medical insurance and healthcare than it was in 2006. and so the chamber and the business community, looks forward to sitting down with the health department and with the members of the board of supervisors, and with the labor, to develop an affordable program, that the charts that supervisor campos put forward themselves show, that topped up insurance subsidies in san francisco, for coverage california, insurance, can be done at less cost to employers than the current mandated spending levels and if that is the goal to give people affordable insurance, we want to sit down with you and make that happen, thank you very much. >> thank you. >> next speaker. >> hello, i am dena long and i am the policy and advocacy vice president of the clinic, and so i am proud that i have worked with the group on supporting
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this legislation. there is a lot of details and i don't have time to go into that in two minutes but i will just talk about our patients. and the san francisco community clinic has 11 partners clinics and we serve 100,000 people, and ten percent of san francisco's population and as he pointed out, there are problems with affordable in the aca and so our job and our collective job as a city, is to make it more affordable. we look at the large numbers of dollars that are just sitting there unused, at the same time that the families that he spoke about are saying hey i am working i want to get full coverage for me and my family but it is just not affordable. and this is a way to bring that altogether. unused dollars, need for affordability. we can work out the details of how that gets done. but we think that it is very important. and we also strongly support the healthy san francisco program for all of those that were unfortunately and left out
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of the affordable care act and so we got to make it work for those who are eligible and still have the healthy san francisco program for those who aren't and i don't think that we can wait one or two years, and i think that people get sick every day and they need health insurance and i urge us to move forward and work out how we are all going to move together on this. thank you. >> thank you very much. >> next speaker, please? >> >> i have nigh my notes. >> i am ron and i am the put together the brewing company and i am also on the board of directors of the golden gate restaurant association. and i support the universal health insurance, the universele healthcare but not this legislation. and i feel that this bill fails to mandate that all of the funds go to subsidized insurance coverage for workers. and it does not reward businesses that have the
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healthyist workers. rather, this legislation promotes waste, inefficiency and disproportionately penalizes businesses that hire the most entry level workers. and this legislation mandates spending, not insurance. and not results. and it tells businesses how much to spend, regardless of the health or the age of a worker and it tells a business how much to spend per worker regardless of whether or not the business can cover the insurance needs of the workers and in a more comprehensive or efficient manner and it kills innovation and efficiency because there is no connection between the amount of employer paid a worker and the health or the insurance needs of the worker. and if we want the city to spend a fixed amount on everyone's healthcare to subsidize health insurance for all then let's do that in an intelligent way and let's ask everyone to contribute to the city health subsidy fund and don't penalize businesses that employ the highest proportion of entry level workers and
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rather place a small tax on consumption and those who spend the most can contribute the most to a city health insurance subsidy fund, thank you. >> thank you. i am going to read a few more names, brad billic, don becler guy larson, hello, my name is monica and i am a long time san francisco and i live in district eleven and i teach adults esl part time and seasonal at a local university. i have been a member since 2007 since it started and i love it and my doctors and clinics and the nurses and the staff and i have care, and i have healthcare, that i can actually that i can afford and i want care ultimately. this year i have chosen to take
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the penalty over the affordable care act because i can't, it is unaffordable care for me. there is not much else that i can give up to pay what is required to get insurance under the affordable care act. i hope that san francisco stays at the forefront of what it was when healthy san francisco started. keeping people first. and going towards coverage san francisco keeping healthy san francisco maybe, making it some kind of a program that is acceptable under the aca and aiming towards universal healthcare and something with low deductibles that is affordable for working people and i believe in san francisco and i think that we can do it and i support this legislation, thank you. >> thank you, very much. >> next speaker. >> good morning, chair campos, and supervisors mar and yee. director of the office of small business and i am here to let you know that the small
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business commission thanks hillary for your great presentation to the commission. but does recommend disapproval, again, primarily around the expenditures the same as in 2011, and for small businesses, the accrual form of managing the healthy san francisco is important component in regards to cash flow management. and as jim lazarus said the commission does not see that the way that the businesses have been utilizing the hras as a loophole but as a means of really trying to deal with complying with the high cost of healthcare that the insurance companies they are not previously up until 2014, with the aca were not charged for businesses. and also, i think, you know, the commission had representation on the universal healthcare council and the business community was there and we were all in agreement with the goals and really want
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to work on trying to find a solution. to really work to the most effective means of finding a solution to really get to i think, the target population that you are trying to address today. although, the expenditure and the mandated spending requirement, in light of what is as
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a loophole >> i mean, as, and it is not... >> i mean no, it is not a loophole, the money was there for the employees to use and access and for the majority of the businesses, individuals did just that. and you know, with even with the city's mra, but didn't have 100 percent utilization, with the cities mra as well. >> thank you very much. >> next speaker. >> thank you, supervisors. my name is roma guy, and i was a health activist and then on
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the health commission and co-chair the healthcare security. and basically, i have been involved with this for years and years, and i think that for today, the evidence shows that in our partnership, with the tax payer and the consumer and the business, and the big business, small business, and that the business community is not in compliance with this partnership and as of today, we have that evidence. and so we should close whatever you want to call it, the loophole or the way that they are not delivering. and we should just do that, and then, that is part one. you should close the loophole. please do. and secondly, on the trends question, you know i am very sympathetic that aca was not perfect and number one, the undocumented are not covered. what does that mean in san francisco? it is absolutely means, for sure, that healthy san
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francisco has to go on. so, that decision seems to have been made, thank you. on the other trend, for aca, the integration of coverage california, or whatever we do, next in san francisco, to integrate this is going to take years. so if you are looking for a trend for 100 percent confidence, it ain't going to be there for another 6 to 8 years. okay? and never mind 2015, 2016, you have to do your best in talking with partnerships, and i don't think that we need a blue ribbon committee to go on for years, like i have been on, on other health issues. and we need our partners, to agree under the leadership of the board of supervisors whoever is going to be the champion of this, and to look at establishing a cautionary risk and not 100 percent confidence. >> thank you.
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>> i have few more names, paul kepner, borden pete sitnic. >> [ speaking in a foreign language ] i support your amendment and the healthcare security ordinance and affordability and flexibility of it. the people in san francisco. and that is it. >> thank you, sir. >> next speaker? >> mr. president? good day, sir. may name is dennis kelley i am the president of the united educators of san francisco and i used to see the three of you on the school board meetings. but rntion you united educators of san francisco is a member of the san francisco labor council and we are also proud members of the chamber of commerce and i am here to tell you there is a loophole and the reason that
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i know that there is a loep hole is that our friends in the golden gate association used to put out the notices in our neighborhood restaurants that said, that they unfortunately were going to charge me three or four percent on my lunch because of this legislation, they had to do it. but since they have been turning 75 percent profit on that tax, they no longer put out that notice. and so i assume that they figured out what the loophole is all about. and this is not about loop holes, this is about people's lives, we have teachers who do not apply for family coverage because they cannot afford it. that means that their children are not being covered. children who are not covered get sick, stay home, lose their education. this is critical to us as a society, this is something that we must move on if it is not perfect for the health system yet, it will be perfect as we
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move along, and it will not get better by putting it off for another year, for another round of statistics and it will only get worse. and so i urge you to move this legislation forward. thank you very much. >> thank you >> next speaker, please? >> thank you, supervisors, and lewis, the hotel and western workers local two, and you know how quickly people forget, eight years ago, and it was costing in this board and there was nobody at the table at the time who imagined that employers would figure out how to reach in and take back hundreds of millions of dollars from workers pocket money that should have gone to providing healthcare for them and making them more able to stay in the city that we are increasingly being driven out of. at the time that the restaurant industry figured out as dennis said that, you know they could impose a surcharge and low and behold the surveys shows that the consumers were more than
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happy to pick up the costs knowing that it would go to healthcare, they did not know and had not figured out, that they could exploit this loophole and scroll forward to today, four years after the affordable care act. i am astounded and speechless, and at a loss for words that our city's department of public health and administration, does not feel that they know enough about how the affordable care act is rolling out in our communities in our industries the folks figured out that there was a crisis in 2010, and in fact, that is only got worse. and at the hcso worked the way that it was designed to work eight years ago it would be compatible with the aca and let our city work in our city the way that it doesn't anywhere in the country that is why we need to close this loophole. and i just want to point out that the legislation in front
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of you is designed in very similar structure to the original hcso and it addresses the commitment of employers to spend the money the way that they should and should have for the last eight years and it gives dph and the city a lot of latitude to figure out a program that works best for our residents. see this through. >> thank you. >> i have a few more names, lari thomas, sandra mack, good will, scott, vister. >> and please go ahead. >> okay. >> and my name is barbara and i am representing two organizations. california alliance for retired americans which is a lot of union people, joined with other people and it is 900,000 people. and also, senior disability action which is a san francisco
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non-profit supporting and advocating and educating for disabled people and seniors. i am also a person in san francisco, and i live in district six, and jane kim's district and we are probably one of the poorist areas of the city and i want to say that aside from all of the technicalities and the loop holes and who got this money and what that money and everything else that has been discussed in great detail here, and i want you to think about the people, that this is effecting. the seniors who could hardly walk into the senior disibility *fbility action and ask us for more help and referral to other agencies, and just the disabled people that get up every day and struggle curiously on shrinking incomes for what they can do with their lives. and it is not to be slipped out of your mind by some hearings or, you know, discussions in
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the court or if a key aspect of what we are, living in san francisco, for and fighting every day. and i really support this legislation, and we really support you to do the full care and sda, thank you. >> and just so you know, your supervisor is a co-sponsor of the legislation, supervisor kim. thank you. >> next speaker. >> thank you. i am here to support the part of the legislation that closes the loophole, in san francisco. there are several market opportunities available to businesses in the city, outside of the city option. the only place that allows any portion of the health and welfare dollars ever to revert back to the employer is san francisco. in the government contracting business, hourly healthcare requirements have been around since the 1930s on the contract and in the 60s on service contracts and since the 1990s there have been living wage ordinances in several cities
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including new york, miami, los angeles and san francisco to name a few that require hourly health and welfare benefits in all cases where the hra are allowed they are funded to the administrator and are made irrevoke ablely and there is another issue that is tailored that serves the needs of the employer and hourly based fixed plans that cost 1.63 or 2.44 an hour that cover the employers working as few of eight hours a week up to the monthly cap, these plans are designed for high turnover and stable labor forces the premium is based on the hours worked each month times a 1.63 or the 2.44 rate, employers can sign up any time during the year, and there is no open enrollment period and these plans run month to month. therefore, there is no need to have an unfunded, or revocable
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hra to satisfy the requirements, since there are other alternatives to the city available, thank you. >> thank you very much. >> next speaker. >> don becler a single parent group for national healthcare reform. and in support of this legislation, and i live in district eight, and 2001 i got laid off from the united airlines after 9/11 and when healthy san francisco came into existence it was a life safer for me, and i totally support it. and i for plugging the loophole it just really gets me a bit upset, that the chamber of come percent wants to rip san francisco off of $94 million every year for their programs and it is like, all that i hear from the chamber of commerce is let the city of san francisco subsidize low wage workers and pay for their healthcare and they don't give a dam about the people that work in their
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establishments. for the department of public health this acquit simple and the fact that there has been around for a while and it seems like you could take last year's 93 million dollars that was withheld from the city and divy it up among the people who need the subsidies to buy the health insurance, and i know that a lot of health policy people, and you are missing out and it kind of irritates me that you are mimicking the chamber of commerce. >> thank you. >> next speaker please? >> good morning, supervisors my name is guy carson and executive director of the california music and culture association. and cmack for short or we are an alliance for the venue operators and night clubs, and artists and industry, professionals. and fans. joining today, with the ggra, the chamber of commerce, and the small business association, commission rather, and in our opposition to this ordinance. and out of our concern for the
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sustainability of our industry, and especially those that operate, and such as my own, and very low profit margin and unable to pass on the costs to our consumers. and in some cases such as my own force to close, due to the high cost of operation. and we have one of the highest costs labor costs in country, and it is about to get a lot harder with the new minimum wage requirements and the hcso aca true ups and we are looking special sense that the east bay and particularly oakland, do and are not laboring under the same kind of costs and are a real shift in the paradigm, and it will be a lot harder to our numbers. thank you very much. >> thank you very much. >> next speaker, please? >> paul, kefner, and i feel like it is ground hog day but
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here we go again and actually i want to make a practical request, which is while you are attempting to fix this ordinance, to consider the fact that i have a very real story to tell you which has not been talked about is this dividing point at 100 employees where the cost to the employer goes from $1.60 to 2.55, or something, and i am not even certain what that is. but the impact of that is that we have 120 employees and we have one store in the castro district that makes maybe, $5,000. and that 100th employee costs me $100,000. and so, we are going to close our store in 24 people are going to lose their jobs simply because of that gap. and now, if this law was adjusted simple adjustment so that it was progressive as opposed to regressive that the 100th employee would cost the extra 90 cents an hour and then the entrepreneurs like myself could consider opening you
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know, hiring that 100th employee but because that is retroactive and that actually cost me, 100,000, it makes stores like our castro street store inviable and we are faced with closing that store, and 24 people losing their jobs and i would like to hear what you have to say about that, i think that is a practical come component scott weiner and he agreed and he took it to the mayor and he said we knew that it is a flaw in the law but we are not going to do anything about it and while you are adjusting this law i would ask you to consider that component of that to make it more he he equal. >> jane, and john mendez and petes on born. >> thank you, division campos and yee for hearing us today.
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i am the director of the golden gate restaurant association and i want to say one thing first and this is not being against healthcare or against the popping up of the subsidy and everyone agrees that the healthcare is affordable and we should support that and if ordinance did that we would not be here today opposing it. the issue is obviously as the hra accounts which we have discussed and they primarily exist because of the hourly spending requirement by san francisco that does not make into account whether or not you can provide insurance and in other way for a lesser about of money, because it hurts the smaller employers as you know the affordable care act sets the bar at 50 and so all of the health plans that are put out there and shopped on the market are focused on 50 employees or more and additionally some of the plans that were mentioned that actually are based upon our hourly spend requirement rate are technically not allow able as stand alone plans and they actually require a supplemental plan to go with them and so it is not true that
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those exist. i think that there was also a mention that the city's own mre account had 54 percent usage rate and there is an employee usage issue across the city and not just in the employer side of things but there is a raoen why the people don't have enough funds, and again, we will have the reporting period and they are in the 24 month and previously to the 2012 report it was not the 24 month period and that is what we are looking for. the accepted benefit hra accounts and the city option are not compliant as minimum coverage of the affordable care act and so the employer pays into the city they will not be credited under the affordable care act and that is a challenge that needs to be solved and one of the biggest issues when you talk about uninat intended consequences and the accounts does not do that and creates a business liability on the balance for
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businesses. >> next speaker. >> thank you, supervisors pete sudnik, restaurant owner and i employ 250 employees and we opened in 2008 and we are able to figure out how to make our business work so that it balance the needs of the guests the employees, and the owners and investors, and with this legislation, i am disappointed that there was not enough time and discussion and collaboration done to look at how to balance the needs of the employers, and the employees, and the city of san francisco in order to this thing works, i think that it needs to go back to the drawing board and we are very much in support of taking care of the welfare of our employees, they are the ones that make the business go. and so i am not in support of
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this legislation. >> thank you very much. >> next speaker, please? >> hi, supervisors lori thomas and also owner and manage a couple of restaurants in san francisco and i live in district eight. acouple of points, i also want to say that i fully support healthcare and we provide it to employees and we pay 80 percent of the premium and wrap under hra and our usage since you have the numbers are. ingered about 45 to 50 percent on the pure hras. and we discuss that or we can just move on. do i want to raise a couple of small points and ask that again, as we are reopening the discussion, we address a few things. one is the perception of pocketing money and i know that it is out there and i know that it is a bad perception, but a lot of our employers like me are much like these individuals in the examples where the costs are so tight that if it was 100
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percent spending towards healthcare at the rates set by the city which is a ten county public rate not a private rate, that we like many of these individuals would not be able to make our ends meet and the consequences are like the gentleman who will have to close the restaurant and lose those jobs i am not saying that effects everybody but that is a concern and we would certainly fall into that at least with one if not two of our restaurants. the next thing is that the city mra issue and it is 54 percent usage and i believe that the numbers in 2012 believe that there are 73 million dollars sitting in the city accounts and if we are going to talk about that behavior we are going to look at those funds as well. lastly the october 8th and the october 8th, start date and we recommend that we push that to january first if at all possible and there will be a huge issue that we have will to change the plans and that does
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not make sense. and lastly, i just want to urge that if we do open it up again that we include those under collective bargaining agreements part time employees can also be covered by unionized employers. >> next speaker. >> employ name is mack and i am with the california alliance of retired americans, as were a couple of other speakers. and as it were the state wide organization and we have about 500,000 members, and we are a coalition, and it says alliance and that is what we are. and we are coalition of organizations. and we represent community organizations like disability action and other such community groups and we also have a number of people from unions such as myself and i was with the california federation and the teacher's education of san francisco and that is the california alliance. and although we are retired we very active in supporting active people wh